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Fort Walton Beach in Okaloosa County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Class Action Lawsuit

 

— Bud & Dorie Day Patriots' Trail —

 
Class Action Lawsuit Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, December 29, 2020
1. Class Action Lawsuit Marker
Inscription.  
Filed by Attorney, Col. (Ret) George E. "BUD" Day

Many times, Bud wondered what God was saving him for, and perhaps the answer came more than twenty years after he retired from the Air Force. In 1995, the government Bud Day had suffered so greatly to defend as a Prisoner of War, violated its promise and terminated free medical care for retired WWII and Korean veterans. Then a practicing lawyer, Col. Day was outraged and insulted: "This was a plain, disloyal breach of contract!" From an attorney's perspective, the case was not very complicated. For many generations, the United States government had promised enlisting members of the armed forces that if they completed 20 years of active duty military service, they would receive a retirement package comprised of 50% pay and free medical benefits for life. This agreement was universally understood, and no one ever questioned the U.S. government's commitment to it. At least not until 1995, when these aging veterans were told they would have to start paying for their medical care.

Ever the warrior, Bud Day stepped forward on behalf of an estimated

Class Action Lawsuit Marker along the trail. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, December 29, 2020
2. Class Action Lawsuit Marker along the trail.
1.5 million retired servicemen and prepared to go to war with the government he had spent his adult life serving. The class action lawsuit was initially filed as Col. George E. ‘Buď' Day (R) v. William Cohen, Secretary of Defense, and the United States of America. For several years in the 1990's the U.S. government shamefully denied that the promise of free lifetime medical care had ever been made. Later, in the face of mounting evidence discovered by Col. Day and his team of friends and researchers, some dating back to 1918, the U.S. Department of Justice retreated to state that although the promises had been made, the authority to make these promises was not properly vested with any particular department or agency.

An even greater injustice occurred when a Federal District Court judge in Pensacola, Florida, turned his back on basic contract law and stated that despite all the evidence of the federal government's promises of free lifetime medical care, these commitments amounted only to a “gratuity,”, and that the government's pledge amounted to nothing more than a moral obligation, and not a legal duty.

Col. Day appealed the District Court's ruling to a three-judge panel at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. In February, 2001, Day won his appeal, briefly securing justice for a rehearing before the entire eleven-member Circuit

Portrait of USAF Colonel George Everett "Bud" Day image. Click for full size.
By Public domain, May 28, 2008
3. Portrait of USAF Colonel George Everett "Bud" Day
Court of Appeals. The case, with potential damages, was estimated at $15 billion.

On March 6, 2002, Col. Day argued before one of the highest courts in the land. He argued with the passion and tenacity one would expect from a combatant of his caliber, while wearing his Medal of Honor.

In November of 2002, with the help of strong and determined leaders in the United States Congress, including his POW cell-mate, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Bud Day promoted legislation called TRICARE for Life.

Col. Day's TRICARE legislation largely provided the comprehensive healthcare protections the federal courts had earlier denied America's military veterans.
 
Erected 2015 by the City of Fort Walton Beach & Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce. (Marker Number 13.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: MilitaryPatriots & PatriotismScience & Medicine.
 
Location. 30° 25.016′ N, 86° 36.086′ W. Marker is in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, in Okaloosa County. Marker can be reached from Oregon Drive NE when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Walton Beach FL 32548, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dorie's POW Negotiations (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Prisoner of War (about 500 feet away);

Bud & Dorie Day Patriots' Trail image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, December 29, 2020
4. Bud & Dorie Day Patriots' Trail
The Mistys (about 600 feet away); Bud & Dorie Day Patriots' Trail (approx. ¼ mile away); Preserving and Protecting the Mound (approx. 0.9 miles away); Story of the Fort Walton Temple Mound (approx. 0.9 miles away); Fort Walton (approx. one mile away); Okaloosa County Desert Storm Memorial (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Walton Beach.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 31, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 30, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 43 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 30, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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Mar. 6, 2021